Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Courtship

The letters of courtship of my great-grandfather have come into my possession and I have decided to share them with you. I'm thinking of doing them on a weekly installment. Every Wednesday I'll post some as they are quite lengthy. I'll divide them up into segments. One of the first letters is six pages long! These are not in his original hand which was had quite a flourish but typewritten copies. My mother wasn't ready for me to whisk the originals off to Alaska. She had won the typing service at a church auction and chose to have his letters typed up. 

Unfortunately I have no pictures of him and my great grandmother but I'm hoping that my mom will dig some out for me soon so I can post on another installment.

My great grandfather Clarence Hayward White became the head of the English Department of Colby College in Waterville, Maine and married Alice Heald that became a music teacher at the same college.

Click on the pictures to enlarge for ease of reading.

Here's how his great- great grandson impresses his gal these days.
My son and I did some scavenging at the dump in the nearby woods. 
Scores of cars and other wondrous piles of rusty objects are scattered through nearly an acre.
He found this car horn or blower, we're not sure which, and artfully fashioned it with some gold spray paint into a hanging flower vase  for his girlfriend.

I think he's less than thrilled at having his picture taken here.


  1. thats so brilliant can't wait for the next instalment ...good old Prof. Mather too !!!I want to know what happened between May 7 and Aug 8 which changed my Dear miss Heald to Dear Friend ....I love delving in the past of families ....thanks for sharing and looking forward to reading more.......xx

  2. What a delicious piece of your personal history Kim. These letters are a fascinating insight into the lives of your great-grandparents. Such an insightful man and don't we all hope that our children will come into contact with an encouraging soul like Prof. Mather even if just once in their lives? I enjoyed your letters immensely Kim and am looking forward to the next installment. Memories such as these are so precious. Pen x

  3. I love these letters. This man writes so much like my father did. His discussion of practicality and music is so relevant today, especially with the teaching of the arts being taken out of the schools.

    Love what your son made for his girlfriend.

  4. How absolutley wonderful.
    I liked your comment about buying gold leaf - it's so delicate isn't it?

  5. Too sweet!! I work about within the vacinity of Colby College. If your grandparents were both Professors there, I would want to assume Colby college has their photo somewhere!!

    Jenny in MAine

  6. Hi Jenny, my folks live there still.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting.

  7. What a wonderful piece of family history you have in your possession! I'm a Mainer as well and one of my closest friends attended Colby College. I think the horn with flowers that your son created is the sweetest thing! what girl could resist that! He's a romantic....and a keeper!

  8. Oh my goodness, I particularly like that his letters of courtship will not be about love, as that is against his principles. Ah, New England, proudly displaying our Puritanical beginnings, eh? But I love his correspondence, and his clear passion for the Greeks. Do you know if he was ever able to take a trip to Greece? Or was his passion academic only?

    Professor Mather sounds like fun, too. Screw the practical!

    By the way, was he in anyway descended from John White (I believe that was his name, it's about the most generic of names)? Came over on the ship after the Mayflower, some of his personal possession ended up in museums? I only ask because a lot of the Whites in New England have a tie to him.

    I'm sure your son's wooing worked out well, and it looks fantastic. He's also a really handsome fellow, thrilled or not to be committed to digital image :-)

    Thank you for sharing these, they're lovely.

  9. So where is your Where Bloggers Create?

  10. Your blog is very interesting and I love the old letters, your son is very creative, I see where he gets it from. I plan on visiting each and every blog, boggy people are so great! have fun making the rounds of the party goers! XOXO

  11. Sorry, Anonymous, It turned out my pics were on my other computer and I've been away from it for a few days. I was planning on posting a blog soon about my blogger creation space. Please bear with me!
    And Land of Shimp , yes descended from John White I do believe.

  12. Love the old letters!!! So sweet!
    Congrats on your POTW

  13. This is a piece of living history. I envy you!

    Congratulations on your Posts of the Week Mention.


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